Cellphone Camera Imaging of a Periodically Patterned Chip as a Potential Method for Point-of-Care Diagnostics

Ritu Gupta, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research
Ronald G. Reifenberger, Purdue University, Birck Nanotechnology Center
Giridhar U. Kulkarni, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research

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In this study, we demonstrate that a disposable chip periodically patterned with, suitable ligands, an ordinary cellphone camera, and a simple pattern recognition software, can potentially be used for quantitative diagnostics. A key factor in this demonstration is the design of a calibration grid around the chip that, through a contrast transfer process, enables reliable analysis of the images collected under variable ambient lighting conditions. After exposure to a dispersion of amine terminated silica beads used as analyte mimicking pathogens, an epoxy-terminated glass substrate microcontact printed with octadecyltrichlorosilane (250 mu m periodicity) developed a characteristic pattern of beads which could be easily imaged with a cellphone camera of 3.2 MP pixels. A simple pattern recognition algorithm using fast Fourier transform produced a quantitative estimate of the analyte concentration present in the test solution. In this method importantly, neither the chip fabrication process nor the fill-factor of the periodic pattern need be perfect to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis. The method suggests a viable platform that may potentially find use in fault-tolerant and robust point-of-care diagnostic applications.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology